Wednesday, 13 December 2006

My News of Libya

Some of you asked me to write about my meeting with my Libyan friend that just come back from a long visit to Libya, although he did tell me a lot as we gossiped for few hours but I will be asking him more as I am going to see him again InshaAllah before his return to Libya.
Let me start by saying that my friend lived in the UK for well over 20 years, his first time back to Libya was about 2 years ago, since then he has been coming and going but his visits have been lasting longer and longer in Libya.
When I met him few days ago he had been here only a couple of days but he told me he was already missing Libya and can't wait to return.

The Ancient Greek ruins in Shahat
One of the first things he did was show me a video he took of a trip from Benghazi to Shahat and Sousa, the scenery was amazing and really out of this world, the Green Mountain was very green and lush, the Greek ruins are amazing and screaming for tourists to come and admire them, as he was filming he was being driven, I noticed the car was driving a bit fast and sometimes overtaking other cars in dangerous snaking roads, my friend told me of course about the many accidents and preventable deaths on the roads in Libya, check Khadija Teri & Beacon's blogs for more on this subject.
Of course when they arrived in Shahat there was the obligatory ZARDA (Picnic) they had the BBQ, the meat, the rugs and everything else (but the kitchen sink!) typical of a Libyan picnic.

Something really embarrassing happened there, so if you are of the sensitive type skip this bit!
While my friend was walking through the ancient Greek ruins he found some very old caves dug up by the ancient people that lived there as you can see in the picture below.
some of these caves are small some are large and apparently people used to live in them, so he walked inside one of them and was confronted by this awful sight, a man was doing his toilet business inside (a Number 2) imagine that! I am wondering what the smell was like, it must have been awful, this man got up quickly and most likely did not clean himself. How embarrassing is this for him :o)
Luckily for this man, my friend's video camera was switched off, otherwise the video would probably be on YouTube by now.
My first reaction was what a dirty man but then I asked my friend if there were any public toilets there, he laughed at me, there are no public toilets there or anywhere near, then I realised that this poor man had to go and what was he supposed to do? the only places with privacy are the caves or so he thought :o)
This led to my friend telling me that even places that have public toilets in Libya are a no go area as more or less all public toilets are so disgusting that no one in their right state of mind would use them.
The cave used as a toilet was something like this Sousa cave (above) so I thought I would give some Free ideas to the authorities in Libya on creating some public conveniences:

How about this double Decker toilet, it can be used by people that are visiting the caves while the top deck can be used by people standing on the hill ...lol
They are cheap to make.

Or for a really luxury stay, how about this Luxurious Cave? all the caves can be turned into something like that, what do you think? :o)

On a more serious note, if the authorities want tourists to come and visit the the treasures that we have in our country then they should expect that these tourists have paid a lot of money to come and therefore they are going to expect to find the highest standards of hygiene, comfort and cleanliness, if they can not find a toilet, what are they to do? how would you expect them to respect our country? Would you want them to mess our treasured ruins by using them as toilets?


On other issues in Libya, my friend comes from the city of Benghazi and that is where his family still live.
His impression of Benghazi was very poor, he told me the city is in a very bad state, it is very run down, very dirty and lacks most normal public services which he said is very sad and has even effected many people living there.


On the other hand he visited Tripoli and was very impressed by how big, clean and modern it was, so much so that he told me he is seriously thinking about moving to Tripoli to live there.
This is really good to know but this should not be done on the expense of other cities, why is Benghazi being neglected? how many other cities are suffering as well?
Lets hope InshaAllah that everywhere gets the Tripoli treatment.

I do not apologise for my Critisism, this is Productive Critisism and is for the benefit of our Country

This is it for now until I find out more from my Friend. To Be Continued...............


One last thing, today is my last day at work this year! as from tomorrow I start the rest of my annual leave and the Christmas & New Year holidays and I will be back at work on 2nd January 2007 InshaAllah.

36 comments:

Hannu said...

AL,

Nice pictures of the Green Mountain. Surprisingly green! I traveled this road many many times a year with my family while growing up. Something we had to do for every occasion--and for no occasion--being from Derna and living in Benghazi. Anyway, I always wondered why do they call it the Green Mountain when there was nothing green about it most of the year! lol

BTW, with the double-Decker toilet your advertising a site with adult material :) Check the web site written on the upper floor!

Talking about advertising, I'm sneaking this advertisement of a blogger's wedding here: http://libyans.blogspot.com

P.S. I can't post comments with my blogger id for those using beta! Hate the beta!

AngloLibyan said...

Thank you hannu, i did not see that site's name, I smudged it.
The Green Mountain in the video i watched was actually very green.
I have never been beyond Al-Marj, I would love to go beyond.

A libyan blogger that I did not know about! I will check Aisha's blog soon.
I am having problems commenting as well, I have been leaving triple comments on some blogs but I could not help it !

A.Adam said...

hi Anglolibyan and Thank you so much,
toilets story don't blame that poor man because even the toilets at the Tripoli international fair are disgusting. have good rest and enjoy your time but will be no rest from blogging...


this part for Hannu ,, if you are not yet moved to Blogger beta and you can't use your blogger ID that's because you are in the wrong sign in page turn back to blogger dot come and sign in as old blogger account, blogger beta use Google account for login, I don't like too but I upgraded last two days after long waiting, some bugs in blogger 1.0 not exist in blogger beta.

AngloLibyan said...

you are welcome a.adam.
as you said there will be no rest from blogging :o)

cofman said...

Thanks Anglo for this, really informative when it comes from people who are familiar with both worlds, ie the West and Libya., … and for Benghazi, it was clear to see ( videos in the café ) how bad the city is, especially when you later see the one for Tripoli … I was shocked by the DIFFERENCE, not the dirt….. ok have a nice time, you and the rest of the family during holiday… but I think you can still blog ,.. ok see you next time, alf shukr ostath

Beacon said...

Thanks very much for that insight. Although I am proud that I am Libyan, I am also ashamed to say I have never been to Benghazi or any where any where “East Libya”, I am sorry to say most people I know from the Tripoli area have not been as well. Its easier to go abroad than in your own country! I'd love to go there some day, the people there I know are very kind and generous. It’s a shame about Benghazi's state, I hope it does change soon, I always thought it’s a prettier city than Tripoli! I am sure it will get better inshala, things hopefully are improving.
Regarding those caves, I once met a guy from Derna (another pretty place from our beloved Libya), who was exhibiting some of his photos, he had some cave pics which were amazing, they were caves that the very early Christians used to escape from the then pagan Romans, when I say early, I mean very, very early Christianity! Amazing huh?! The caves are high up in a valley some where near Derna. I hope that no one reading this is saying, great, other free toilets, lets go there!

Some thing to discuss: How do we increase internal tourism, i.e. esp. western Libyans visiting Eastern Libya, and visa versa. Benefits: Promote unity, economy improvement, infrastructure improvement, job opportunities etc. Cons: NON!

Gheriani said...

The first picture Anglo you had in your post is actually of Shahat and not Soussa, which is Cyrene of old. Soussa is the harbour oc Cyrene.
About the caves, though -yes- Libyans lived in caves in the Green Mountains at intervals according to history, but the caves down the hill from Shahat are actually catacombs -houses of the dead-, in other words they are the graveyard of anceint Cyrene.
About Benghazi, what you mentioned is correct 100 per cent, the City needs a Saviour.

AngloLibyan said...

you are welcome ya cofman Afandi.

AngloLibyan said...

thank you Beacon for the information about the caves in Derna, maybe someone can show us some pictures.
regarding internal tourism, Libya is a vast country and if people want to go on holiday, it is easier and cleaner to go abroad, we need all of what you said and more and yes this will promote unity I am sure.

Gheriani, really thank you for correcting my information, I usually depend on what I hear and some times I get it wrong, I will change that picture to Shahat, in the video of my friend I thought the caves looked a bit small to live in, thanks for the information.

Anonymous said...

lol, poor guy! That must have been so embaressing for him. People should have portable toilets with them wherever they go! I saw these cool portables ones in a shop here (they even had different colors). It was like a toilet seat and a plastic bag attached to it lol.

Maybe I should start a business, sending portable toliets to libya??I am sure many people will buy them.

Have a great holiday!

btw, I'm facing problems signing in with blogger. It wont let me post! TFU!

- Lebeeya

AngloLibyan said...

lebeeya that sounds like a good business :o)

many of us are having problems with posting comments, yes TFU...

KhadijaTeri said...

Most people who live in Tripoli are not originally from the city... they move her from other cities.

Lebeeya said...

Anglo, I just read somewhere that it was your birthday last week! Happy Belated birthday!

Why didnt you tell us so we could wish you a happy birthday? meow!

Hannu said...

Yes, Mr. Scrooge here even ignored my comment about his birthday cake! Stingy, stingy, stingy...

Anonymous said...

this is like the 10th time i try to post something, blooger is doing my head in...

any way, thanks for uploading the pic, i pray that you get to see the mountains sometime soon anglo..

white african

AngloLibyan said...

I suppose they move because Tripoli has better living standards, if other cities get the same treatment then maybe people woill stay, thank you Khadija Teri.

yes lebeeya it was on the 6th, thank you.

Hannu what comment about my birthday cake?? Mr. Scrooge is an appropriate name for this part of year :o)

whiteafrican did you notice my triple comments on one of your posts? thats because of the problems with blogger.

Anonymous said...

He He He Anglo Libyan :) I was one of those who asked for an update on your conversation with your friend. So than you very much for this post and the photos. Also Happy Birthday , how come you were hiding it from us !!!!

Lebeeya :) I like the portable toilet thingy , is there one which is really convenient to put in the car trunk ? it 's good for the things and the elderly if we go on a zarda etc..

Highlander ( sorry beta blogger is nuts )

AngloLibyan said...

highlander this post is for you and the others that asked me :o)
thanks a lot and yes blogger beta is nuts.

Safia speaks said...

Last time I was in Benghasi, I was so busy and sleepy I hardly remember anything! I know I was in Sousa and in AlBeyda, too, but other than dusty roads of alBayda I do not remember much. That was in 1988 and I was still a kid then.
There was a big bridge in Benghasi I think.

Embarrassing moments in a toilet? Uff, once I was locked inside a toilet (happens all the time!) and I hammered at the locked exit door crying for help. Nobody came, and then I suddenly noticed I was banging on the locked door to the janitor´s broom and bucket closet!
Soooooo foolish of me! Luckily noone heard my cries for help and I could leave the toilet with a silly smile on my face.

AngloLibyan said...

hahahaha Safia, this is very funny.
I am glad you managed to save yourself the embrrassment.

Trabilsia said...

Hi there Anglo !
I understand it's your birthday and you don't want us to know or what ?
Happy Belated Birthday!
I bet your friend made you homesick,but for the Tripoli treatment I believe it's all the same.Toilets are a disaster in mosques at the airport , one litterally has to be in great pain and need to go otherwise out of the question lol.

AngloLibyan said...

Thank you Trabilsia :o)
and yes I did feel home sick.

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